USA TODAY Sports
The progression of this Sooners squad has come about quickly. Amath M'Baye is now a factor while Buddy Hield has this team flowing better than before. Tempo remains key as conference play kicks off. Do the Sooners have what it takes to run to the Tourney?
It appears that Lon Kruger has found a starting group that fits his taste and style. In the past two games, Buddy Hield has entered the starting five and is making his presence felt on more that just the scoreboard. With Hield as a starter, the tempo along with ball movement seems to come as second nature for the entire group.
"I like the potential of this group, but we can't be content with where we're at by any means," said Kruger. "We've got to understand that Big 12 play is going to be tough every night out. We've got to get better every day in practice and not just game to game." - SoonerSports.com
However, once again the story here is Amath M'baye. After putting up dismal numbers for a stretch, M'Baye turned it around against the Ohio Bobcats. The potential that it was a single game performance was there. But, this game against Texas A&M Corpus Christi may have solidified that M'Baye is who many fans expected him to be for this team as the fun factor of the game has return to him.
"I'm just glad we were able to jump on top like that and keep the pedal to the metal and to get playing time for the white team who works so hard every week for us. The fact that they were able to step on the floor today and have a little fun is a great thing for us." - Amath M'baye via SoonerSports.com
Amath went 7-11 on the night and finished with 14 points and 6 rebounds in just 21 minutes of play. Switching gears, Romero Osby, the leader of this team only put up a single shot on the night that fell for him. Yet, he continues to find himself at the free throw line and is extending his current made FT streak going 6-6 on the night from the charity stripe. Osby finished with 8 total points and 6 rebounds in limited minutes.
As opponents begin to key in on Osby, this team will depend on others like M'Baye and Steven Pledger who was the star of the night yet again. Pledger found himself in a rhythm on the afternoon and was not shy about shooting the ball.
"We were getting out and getting stops. Coach (Lon Kruger) always tells us to just get out and run. I was just running full speed, and I was already in rhythm, so I was just letting them fly." - Steven Pledger via SoonerSports.com
Pledger finished the game in a familiar position as the game's leading scorer with 17 points.
On the opposite end of the floor, Texas A&M-CC Islanders were held to 29.3% shooting. Combine that with being outrebounded by -9 and it is easy to see why the game got ugly in a hurry. Leading the way for the Islanders was Joy Williamson with 14 points. However, no other player was able to score in double digits.
There are still some kinks to work out as the Oklahoma Sooners head into conference play. The physicality of teams like Kansas St. and West Virginia could prove to be strenuous on the road. That's just where Oklahoma is heading to start conference play, Morgantown, WV. Lon Kruger has this team ready to make a run to the tournament, or so the experts say. Let's just hope that the odds may ever be in our favor!